Patriots vs Buccaneers Preview: Part 1
The following takes place in the present. 2021, days before Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit New England for a Sunday night matchup which is sure to bring buzz to the area, and the nation.
These are their stories (cue Law and Order dun dun)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
From humble roots, William Stephen Belichick grew up with coaching in his DNA. The son of a collegiate head coach, Bill admittedly never had the makings of a varsity athlete. Still, he was able to make a name for himself under then Giants head coach and non-member of the Patriots HOF Duane Charles Parcells. Known for being the architect of the vaunted Giants defense in the mid 80s, Belichick was destined for larger things, especially stepping out of the tuna sized shadow he would be associated with.
When Belichick landed in Cleveland as head coach, you could be assured that all the little chicks with the crimson lips were as excited as Mimi Bobeck was about setting her makeup to the “BSP” setting. Still, he built his system. Brought in veterans who understood what he was trying to accomplish. The team mantra had the building blocks of success. He made controversial decisions, cutting regular KMS caller, Bernie Kosar.
Coach Belichick’s career heads to the AFC East after being fired by Cleveland even though he was told he would be the Baltimore Ravens new coach. Back riding sidecar under the aforementioned non member of the Patriots HOF, Belichick went to his 3rd Super Bowl as assistant coach. Parcells coached the game in a New York Jets hat, and the Patriots just couldn’t get moving offensively. Belichick followed, and at one point was named HC of the NYJ, but we’ve already heard this story ad nauseum. He would eventually be released from his contract, and came to Foxboro in 2000.
The rest is not history. Well, part of it is. 6 Super Bowl wins, 3 more appearances. Absolute domination of the league the last 20 years. Until 2020. Cam. Covid. Crying. Fake season? Sure; that was a factor. Cut it off too early? Hard to argue Belichick’s past judgement, letting players go “a year too early instead of a year too late.” Also very difficult to commit long term to a QB in his early 40s. even if the QB was a former 6th round pick, who could have been picked by any other team in the league.
Sunday will come and go, much like the red tide at Easton’s Beach. The Patriots may win; Bill knows Tom almost as well as Tom knows himself. They may also lose. One important note is that margin of victory has no effect on the win loss number: still one. After Sunday, there will be 13 games left, and the Patriots will be on to Houston.
to be continued..
S. Tzu-Pei is an Intern and Lead NFL Writer for The15.